Technology and product design firm Cambridge Design Partnership teamed up with global beauty brand Avon to use smart packaging to support consumer trials of a revolutionary new anti-ageing product. With the help of technology, the companies were able to uncover the truth about how triallists were actually using new ANEW Reversalist Infinite Effects Night Treatment Cream during a month-long trial in their own homes.

The companies were using CDP’s unique user insight service diialog™ to maximise the potential of a critical new product launch. The groundbreaking new skincare product combines two different night creams that need to be rotated every seven days to prevent the user’s skin adapting to the skincare regime. Key to optimising the anti-ageing benefits was that users needed to remember to rotate the double-ended dispenser each week.

A year-long clinical study had confirmed that rotating the product’s Phyto+ and SuperRetinol complexes every seven days reduced wrinkles and improved the appearance of the users’ skin month on month – and kept working for the whole 12 months. And consumer testing had indicated that users had no issues following the instructions to regularly rotate the dispenser. But Avon wanted additional reassurance that consumers would continue to follow the usage instructions over time – so turned to CDP’s diialog service for a new perspective on how users were actually interacting with the product in the privacy of their own homes.

“Our challenge from Avon was to verify that users were remembering to rotate their double-ended dispenser each week,” said Tom Lawrie-Fussey, digital services specialist at CDP. “So we first had to define ‘normal’ use – does everyone dispense the product in the same way, for example? We set up an internal trial here at CDP to ensure our algorithm was robust enough to reliably translate the inertial sensing data from the dispenser into accurate user insights.

“Our next challenge was to ensure the diialog technology could be incorporated into the dispenser without adversely affecting its performance or appearance, whilst also making sure there was sufficient battery life to cover Avon’s month-long consumer trial requirements. Working alongside Avon’s packaging team, our human factors experts were able to ensure the technology was a seamless part of the ergonomics of the product, eliminating any potential impact on users’ behaviour.”

The results of the diialog trial revealed that users were able to successfully follow the regimen of rotating the dispenser each week – there were very few cases of triallists forgetting which end of the device to use. As well as successfully assessing and evaluating the original challenge, the trial also uncovered further opportunities for packaging innovation to help maximise continued adherence to the desired usage regimen – insights that were not apparent from the feedback questionnaire completed by everyone who took part in the trial.

“We are incredibly proud of ANEW Reversalist Infinite Effects – the world’s first rotational anti-ageing night cream,” said Paul Davies, executive director of global skincare R&D at Avon Cosmetics. “A year-long clinical study showed results improving month after month up to a full year – and key to achieving those results is rotating the two formulae.

“CDP’s diialog technology helped us confirm that we designed the product to be intuitive and easy to use for our customers, to help them stick to the regime long term. The unique insights from the diialog trial will help us continue to innovate and offer high-performance, high-quality, great-value products that meet the needs of consumers worldwide as well as make our six million representatives proud to sell.”

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